The nuns at St. Stephen’s School did not like us to wear our rubber boots in the classroom. They said that wearing them all day would damage our eyes. They didn’t bother to explain the cause and effect. They didn’t have to—they were married to God. We were to remove said boots and set them beneath our jackets in the cloak room. The nuns favored galoshes, which we wore over our shoes, and forbade the wearing of those green rubber hunting boots into which you slipped your stockinged feet. Jane Austen, by the way used galosh (the singular) as a verb, meaning to furnish with a galosh, in The Watsons: “Nankeen galoshed with black looks very well.” Commas after Nankeen and black might have helped the reader out there. (But she’s Jane Austen, and I’m not.) Nankeen is a kind of pale yellow cotton cloth, originally manufactured in Nanking (Nanjing), and came to mean the trousers made from the cloth, as here used by Vladimir Nabokov in Speak, Memory: “At tennis, when he was server, he would firmly stand on the back line, with his thick legs, in quaint nankeens, wide apart, and would abruptly bend them at the knees as he gave the ball a tremendous but singularly inefficient whack.”